August 29, 2014: The first day of school can prove hectic, even for the most organized, but Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD) can help make things run smoothly. Personalized Kindergarten orientation sessions, school-based bus safety sessions, email updates on the status of bus routes, and a user-friendly school year calendar will prove helpful as families transition from summer break to the start of the 2014-2015 school year on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.
Enrolment is up between 1 and 1.5 per cent at PWSD schools, with the majority of the growth experienced at Clairmont Community School and Harry Balfour School in Grande Prairie.
"Due to growth in the Whispering Ridge and Westlake Village subdivisions, our schools are feeling the pressure," says Superintendent Sheldon Rowe. "Utilization is at 90 per cent at Harry Balfour School. For the 2014-2015 school year, we have seen a record-breaking enrolment of 98 Kindergarten students at this school, which means we have had to cannibalize a computer lab to create instructional space for an additional class. Delivery of two modular classroom units at Clairmont Community School has been tentatively scheduled for late October. We continue to commit to delivering top-notch programming despite our space constraints, but with each passing year, the need for a new school becomes more pressing," adds Mr. Rowe.
Prior to their official first day of classes, all registered Kindergarten students and their parents will participate in individualized meetings or orientation sessions during the first week of September. These meetings provide valuable insights into the type of programming required for first-time students and also help to ease the transition for both parents and young children by providing an opportunity to meet the teacher one-on-one and become familiar with the classroom environment. Parents are advised to check with their school for the official first day of Kindergarten classes or consult the chart below.
"A quality early childhood program lays the groundwork for your child's success," says said Heather Putio, PWSD's Assistant Superintendent. "We welcome all new Kindergarten registrants and we are ready to work with families to ensure their children experience learning that will set them up for success in the future."
Peace Wapiti Public School Division – Kindergarten Start-Up Dates – 2014-2015 School Year
|SCHOOL – Class grouping by day||START DATE||SCHOOL – Class grouping by day||START DATE|
|Beaverlodge Elementary School – Mon./Wed.||Wed., Sept. 3||La Glace School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 2|
|Beaverlodge Elementary School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 2||Penson School – Tues./Thurs.|
Tues. Sept. 9 and
Thurs., Sept. 11
|Beaverlodge Elementary School – Mon.-Thurs. a.m.||Tues., Sept. 2||Ridgevalley School ||Mon., Sept. 8|
|Bezanson School – Tues./Thurs.||Thurs., Sept. 4||R.W. Zahara Public School – Mon./Wed. ||Mon., Sept. 8|
|Bonanza School||Tues. Sept. 2||R.W. Zahara Public School – Tues./Thurs. ||Tues., Sept. 9|
|Clairmont Community School – Mon./Wed.||Mon., Sept. 15||Rycroft School||Thurs., Sept. 4|
|Clairmont Community School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 16||Savanna School||Tues., Sept. 2|
|Eaglesham School – Tues./Thurs.||Thurs., Sept. 4||Spirit River Regional Academy||Tues., Sept. 9|
|Elmworth School||Tues., Sept. 9||Teepee Creek School||Wed., Sept. 3|
|Harry Balfour School – Mon./Wed.||Mon., Sept. 15||Wembley Elementary School – Mon./Wed.||Wed., Sept. 3|
|Harry Balfour School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 16||Wembley Elementary School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 2|
|Hythe Regional School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 9||Woking School – Tues./Thurs.||Tues., Sept. 2|
Early in September, trained PWSD busing representatives will conduct free safety presentations at Division schools. The sessions will include a safety talk and video, followed by safety drills which will be conducted on a bus located on the school grounds. Safety skills covered in the initial sessions will be reaffirmed during a second fire drill in March.
"We know parents are busy. If bus safety presentations are hosted as public events outside of school, or during summer months, there's a chance that families may not hear about the event, or they may not be able to attend due to work schedules or vacations," says Joanne Peters, PWSD's Transportation Student Manager. "By taking our presentation to our schools, we ensure that every student is aware of the importance of bus safety. If parents feel they need more information on safe bus riding, we will conduct house calls upon request, and all families will receive a telephone call prior to the first day to ensure vital information, such as pick-up times and locations, are clearly communicated. There's a definite value in our personal approach and we receive very positive feedback from teachers, students and parents."
With school zones now in effect, drivers are reminded to exercise caution in school zones. Parents and students are encouraged to visit www.pwsd76.ab.ca to sign up for bus route status notifications by email.
School year calendars
PWSD's school contact information and school year calendars are also available on the Division's website. Parents are asked to review the 2014-2015 school year calendar and to be mindful of official school holidays when booking vacation time throughout the school year. While completed homework does show an acceptable level of commitment to education, it should not be seen as a replacement for valuable in-class instructional time. To assist parents with long-term planning, a draft copy of the 2015-2016 calendar has also been posted on the Division website, as well as all school websites.
PWSD wishes all students, families and staff a happy and successful school year. Welcome back!